Research

My research centers on household and community risk, recovery and resilience to environmental hazards and disasters. Using a mix of qualitative, quantitative and geospatial data and methods, I examine the intersection of human development and extreme weather events and the political-economic context for disaster risk creation. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Natural Hazards Center, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Clarence Stein Institute, among others.

Below you can find information about my ongoing research projects. For a complete list of my publications and scholarly activities, see my Curriculum Vitae. If you do not have access to one of my research publications, please contact me and I will be happy to provide it.

Monsoon floods in Kolkata. Image: SGI.

Monsoon floods in Kolkata. Image: SGI.

Precarious Housing, Informality and Disaster Risk

Affordable housing is a key component of household and community resilience to environmental hazards. This research looks at precarious housing and how it shapes the pre- disaster vulnerability and post-disaster recovery of residents in two contexts: peri-urban informal settlements in Kolkata, India and mobile home parks in Texas and Florida, United States.

Landslide in Darjeeling. Image: Express

Landslide in Darjeeling. Image: Express

Disaster Risk in Small Urban Places

Small cities and towns in the Global South will account for the majority of urban growth in the 21st century. Many of these fast-growing communities are at-risk to natural hazards, but have been largely overlooked in the urban disaster and climate change literature. This research looks at the complex roots of disaster risk creation in small urban places and rapidly urbanizing towns and villages in the Darjeeling-Himalayas, a mountainous region in northeast India.

Lyons Depot Library. Image: Town of Lyons.

Lyons Depot Library. Image: Town of Lyons.

Protecting Historic Resources from Environmental Hazards

Preserved buildings provide important cultural, economic, and environmental benefits, but are increasingly at-risk from extreme weather events. This project investigates the vulnerability of historic resources in Colorado to flood events, and evaluates the effectiveness of state and local hazard mitigation efforts.